SBC Scoop: Full-time, Part-time or EMBA?

*Please note that no client details are ever shared in SBC Scoop or otherwise without complete sign off from client.

Many strong candidates for an MBA program are not ready to attend school at exactly five years of full-time work experience. If you’re profile is a bit out of the normal age range for a full-time MBA education, you may be wondering what your options are to obtain the all important MBA credential.

Much like our client Max, Claudine was in her late 30s. Claudine had over 15 years of experience in her field, and had achieved an executive level position in Finance at a large consumer products company. Claudine felt that she had reached a career plateau in her firm and wanted to obtain an MBA to take her to the next level.

To decide which program was the right fit for her, we discussed Claudine’s goals, personal situation and needs from a program. In the short-term Claudine wanted to progress at her company or another similar corporate environment. To make it to the next level she knew an MBA would be a strong asset. While she enjoyed her colleagues and the work she did every day, Claudine harbored entrepreneurial ambitions in the long-term. She wanted to take her skills and partner with a big-picture idea creator to start their own enterprise. Ultimately she thought her skills and personality was a good fit to be a COO or CFO for a small company, and wanted to use the MBA to both learn the hard skills necessary to run the company and to possibly meet a suitable business partner.

Claudine’s goals could be achieved with any of the three available options: full-time two-year MBA program, part-time MBA or Executive MBA. We turned next to Claudine’s interests in the social and extracurricular activities available to MBA students. While she was attracted to the range of activities available in a full-time MBA program, she had an extremely demanding family life with two small children. Ultimately Claudine didn’t think she would be as involved in the social activities most full-time MBA students participate in. That led her to look more seriously at the part-time and Executive MBA options. Claudine’s desire to obtain the skills and the network available from a strong program led her to look most closely at an Executive MBA. Luckily she had the full sponsorship of her company, and was able to demonstrate leadership and value to her organization through their endorsement.

Claudine’s San Francisco Bay Area location gave her two excellent options for an EMBA, and she decided to apply to the Wharton EMBA program in San Francisco and the Berkeley-Columbia EMBA. With admission to Berkeley-Columbia Claudine was able to build a network with classmates from both California and NYC and was excited to expand her network to include her future business partner.

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